“Ethan, wake up!”  Shawna whispered to the lump of covers.

“Go away,” came his muffled response.

She nudged him.  “It’s here!  Our favorite holiday!”

He threw the quilt off his head.

Shawna bounced with excitement.  “Mom’s making newt stew.”  She poked her brother with a broom handle.  “I’m gonna be a witch, like mom.  See, I get to borrow her spare broom.”

Ethan rolled his eyes.  “I’m thirteen.  Trick-or-treat is for babies.”

Shawna narrowed her eyes and pointed the broom at his forehead.  “I swear; if you don’t go with me, I’ll have mom turn you into a bat.”


So, here’s the deal.  Halloween really isn’t my thing…but writing is 🙂  Nancy at Spirit Lights the Way told me about a writing contest and it looked like so much fun, I had to do it.  That’s the story about this 99-word story!

Susanna Hill created the following contest – the winning prize being 5 autographed children’s picture books (how cool is that?)  Here’s the challenge:

Write a 100 word Halloween story appropriate for children (title not included in the 100 words), using the words witch, bat, and “trick-or-treat. Your story can be scary, funny or anything in between, poetry or prose, but it will only count for the contest if it includes those 3 words and is 100 words (you can go under, but not over!) Get it? Halloweensie – because it’s not very long and it’s for little people 🙂

So, Happy Halloween and stuff!!!

49 thoughts on “Spellbound

  1. nrhatch October 31, 2012 / 8:39 AM

    Yay! You did it! And I love it . . .

    As the mother of two, I’m sure you understand Shawna’s desire to turn Ethan into a BAT. But, surely, her mother would never stoop to that. Even on Halloween. 😀

    • Catherine Johnson October 31, 2012 / 3:54 PM

      Great entry and Nancy I love your stoop pun.

      • jannatwrites November 1, 2012 / 12:13 AM

        Thanks, Catherine! I’m glad you stopped by to read it 🙂

    • jannatwrites October 31, 2012 / 11:22 PM

      Thanks, Nancy! I couldn’t not do it 🙂 Surely their mom wouldn’t do that, but it is Halloween after all…you never know!

    • nrhatch October 31, 2012 / 1:46 PM

      That’s an interesting question, Heather. At that age, he might prefer being a bat for a bit. 😆

    • jannatwrites October 31, 2012 / 11:30 PM

      Well, he is thirteen, and a bat is a really good costume…Perhaps he’d be more willing to trick-or-treat if she threatened to have him turned into a Disney Princess? 😆

    • jannatwrites October 31, 2012 / 11:30 PM

      Thanks so much for reading, Rebecca! Hope you had a happy Halloween 🙂

      • rebecca2000 November 1, 2012 / 9:58 AM

        Had a great one. I hope you did too. 🙂

        • jannatwrites November 1, 2012 / 6:09 PM

          All good here…kiddos are still on a sugar high.

    • jannatwrites October 31, 2012 / 11:37 PM

      Wow, thanks! I hadn’t thought about there being more (especially since I don’t write children’s fiction) but it might be fun to explore. I appreciate you stopping by to read my story, Julie 🙂

  2. clarbojahn October 31, 2012 / 11:56 AM

    I love it, Janna! Great story. 🙂

    • jannatwrites October 31, 2012 / 11:45 PM

      Thanks, Clar! I haven’t seen you around these parts for a while…glad you stopped by 🙂

  3. Carrie Finison October 31, 2012 / 12:06 PM

    I agree, this could make a great opening to a book for older readers.

    • jannatwrites October 31, 2012 / 11:50 PM

      That’s an interesting possibility to explore, Carrie. Thanks so much for reading!

  4. Julie October 31, 2012 / 12:19 PM

    Cute story! We’ve all had to resist those urges at some point!

    • jannatwrites October 31, 2012 / 11:56 PM

      Oh there were times growing up I wished I could turn my older brother into something…he picked on me quite a bit! Glad you stopped by, Julie!

  5. Susanna Leonard Hill October 31, 2012 / 12:22 PM

    What fun, Janna! I’m with Heather – wondering if Ethan will go trick-or-treating or get turned into a bat! I’m so glad you found the contest and entered – you because of Nancy because of Vivian which means I get to meet 2 new wonderful writers today! 🙂 And I love that you have all your partners in crime in the sidebar – they are all precious!

    • jannatwrites November 1, 2012 / 12:03 AM

      Thanks again for hosting such a fun contest. I’m enjoying reading the entries, which makes me wonder how you’ll ever narrow it down to three! I appreciate you stopping by – and I’m glad you liked my furry family members 🙂

  6. Cathy Ballou Mealey October 31, 2012 / 1:35 PM

    Those 99 words are terrific! I want to know what happens next!

    • jannatwrites November 1, 2012 / 12:04 AM

      I’m glad you liked the story, Cathy! I just might have to play with this to see what happens next 🙂

  7. Penny Klostermann October 31, 2012 / 1:39 PM

    Very fun. I enjoyed this! I, too, am wondering whether he will give in or be flying around the attic!

    • jannatwrites November 1, 2012 / 12:09 AM

      Thanks, Penny! I appreciate you stopping by to read it and I’m glad you liked it. I don’t know…being a bat might make this Halloween more fun for him 🙂

  8. Debbie October 31, 2012 / 4:27 PM

    GOOD for you! Halloween isn’t exactly my favorite holiday, either, but you’ve got a cute and well-written little story here. I love Shawna’s spunk!

    • jannatwrites November 1, 2012 / 12:21 AM

      I had fun with the story (unlike the Halloween festivities at work….let’s just say I had a lot of cubicle alone time today :)) Shawna is a feisty one…if mom won’t turn him into a bat, she just might! Thanks for reading, Debbie.

  9. pattisj October 31, 2012 / 8:01 PM

    Well, you did that handily! Good job, Janna. Do you find that you go over and have to pare it down, or do you measure your words as you go?

    • jannatwrites November 1, 2012 / 12:26 AM

      Thanks for reading, Patti! This story just ended up the right length…I wrote it quickly with few edits. Usually I end up writing long and have to trim (especially those 33-word challenges!)

  10. Imelda October 31, 2012 / 8:23 PM

    If only for the food, I have no desire of being a witch.
    This is a charming story though, my newt stew prejudice aside. 🙂 🙂 I hope you get the 5 autographed picture books, Janna.

    • jannatwrites November 1, 2012 / 12:28 AM

      Hahaha! Yeah, newt stew sounds pretty gross. That might help me lose a couple pounds, though 🙂 I had fun writing this, but I don’t think I’ll get the picture books. (I’ve read several entries so far and they are really good!) Thanks for reading and overcoming your newt stew prejudice, Imelda.

    • jannatwrites November 1, 2012 / 7:36 AM

      Thanks for your nice comment, Renee. I didn’t write this with the idea of writing more, but it might be fun.

  11. diannegray November 1, 2012 / 2:24 AM

    I love it, Janna! I don’t think people realise how difficult it is writing such a short story and getting the characters and theme across. Well done! 😀

    • jannatwrites November 1, 2012 / 7:41 AM

      Thanks for reading it, Dianne. I’ve gotten so used to these short ones, it’s harder to do novel length 🙂

  12. Robyn Campbell November 1, 2012 / 5:22 AM

    Bodacious job here. Do I smell a chapter book beginning here?

    Sweet! Love the stoop wordplay. *high five*

    • jannatwrites November 1, 2012 / 7:50 AM

      I’m glad you stopped by, Robin. I don’t normally write for kids, except one story I wrote for my son, but it might be fun to try it out 🙂

  13. Gail November 1, 2012 / 6:18 AM

    What a wonderful story. MMM, newt soup. I’m never tried that.

    Thanks for stopping by.

    • jannatwrites November 1, 2012 / 8:14 AM

      I appreciate you reading my story, Gail. I haven’t tried newt stew either, but the witches say it’s delish 🙂

  14. Carla November 1, 2012 / 12:59 PM

    This is such a fun idea! It could make an awesome chapter book for upper elementary kids too!

    • jannatwrites November 1, 2012 / 6:10 PM

      Thanks, Carla! It is fun to think about expanding the story, since it wasn’t in my mind when I wrote it 🙂

  15. pattyabr November 1, 2012 / 7:40 PM

    Happy Halloween 99 word storyteller.

    • jannatwrites November 1, 2012 / 10:54 PM

      Thanks, Patty! Right back at you, patient cheese maker 🙂

  16. viviankirkfield November 1, 2012 / 8:16 PM

    Oh my goodness, Janna! Great story…love the newt stew (lots of stews stewing around this contest). I’m so glad you entered because, as Susanna observed, now we get to meet even more awesome writers/people. 🙂

    • jannatwrites November 1, 2012 / 10:55 PM

      Thanks for your kind comment, Vivian. There were so many good stories and everyone was so nice, I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed this Halloween 🙂

    • jannatwrites November 3, 2012 / 11:42 PM

      She sure is, Carl! She knows how to get the job done (or who can get it done for her :))

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